Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) is calling out Joe Biden‘s SCOTUS nominee for some recently uncovered information about her past: her lenient treatment of sex offenders.
Sen. Hawley, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued in a long thread on Twitter that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record as a policymaker and a judge depicts an “alarming pattern” of letting sex offenders off the hook.
The record that Hawley is referencing includes reducing sentences for child pornography offenders, and even questioning whether sex offenders should be made to enroll in publicly accessible registries.
“Judge Jackson has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes, both as a judge and as a policymaker,” Hawley wrote in a tweet published on March 16th. “She’s been advocating for it since law school. This goes beyond ‘soft on crime.’ I’m concerned that this [is] a record that endangers our children.”
“As far back as her time in law school, Judge Jackson has questioned making convicts register as sex offenders – saying it leads to ‘stigmatization and ostracism.’ She’s suggested public policy is driven by a ‘climate of fear, hatred & revenge’ against sex offenders,” the senator added in a subsequent tweet in the thread.
As far back as her time in law school, Judge Jackson has questioned making convicts register as sex offenders – saying it leads to “stigmatization and ostracism.” She’s suggested public policy is driven by a “climate of fear, hatred & revenge” against sex offenders pic.twitter.com/2QUcPOnWPR
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 16, 2022
Hawley’s Twitter thread comes just as the GOP’s lines of attack against Judge Jackson’s confirmation to SCOTUS are beginning to take shape. While the Senate Republicans are not actively working together in creating a single message against Jackson’s confirmation, people are beginning to speculate that the nationwide spike in violent crime will be playing a central role in their opposition. Hawley’s argument is an obvious complement to that theme.
According to reporting by the Washington Free Beacon:
As a law student at Harvard, Jackson wrote a student note that argued for a legal framework that would leave certain sex offender penalties, such as registry enrollment or civil commitment, exposed to constitutional challenges. And she noted that a “climate of fear, hatred, and revenge” is associated with the release of sex offenders from prison.
Hawley also said Jackson routinely gave child pornography defendants reduced sentences as a judge on the Washington, D.C., federal trial court.
In a representative case, U.S. v. Sears, the defendant was convicted of possessing over 100 child porn videos and sending lewd pictures of his own daughter, a minor. The sentencing guidelines call for a 97- to 121-month sentence. Jackson gave him 71 months, or just under six years, according to Hawley. In another case, U.S. v. Chazin, the defendant possessed about 50 child porn files and received a 28-month sentence from Jackson. The sentencing guidelines call for 78 to 97 months.
GOP lawmakers are also trying to obtain records from Jackson’s time on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which could give more details on how she pushed for changes in the sentencing of sex offenders.
The Sentencing Commission is a bipartisan body that sets sentencing practices for federal courts. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has stated that lawmakers have been given open source materials, such as hearing transcripts and guidelines volumes, but have not been given any internal documents like emails or memos. Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Judge Jackson’s service on the sentencing commission is an important part of her experience, so her records there must be part of a thorough review. This request falls squarely within the committee’s normal practices,” Grassley said at a hearing on March 10th.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who is the brother of retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, is the acting chairman of the Sentencing Commission.
Source: The Washington Free Beacon